Friday, July 3, 2015
'Neath the Red, White, and Blue
I don't normally approve of ostentatious displays of patriotism - but in this case, I'll make an exception.
I hope you're set for a lovely holiday weekend. How it's suddenly nearly midsummer, I don't know, but here we are. Sadly, the Mister is working, so it will be quiet here, but that's actually rather how the dogs and I like it.
It has, after all, been a tumultuously busy couple of weeks. I'm still riding the high of being at long last legal in all fifty states, not to mention enjoying the spectacle of a large swath of the American public realizing that the gentleman in the White House has actually been doing a rather remarkable job.* We don't agree on each and every point, true, but when you consider the alternatives on the other side of the aisle, I don't think we've done too badly. As for the hapless charlatans who seem every day to multiply on the Republican ticket, well, the less said the better. The only possible upside I can see from the re-emergence of Mr. Trump from whatever swampy VIP room he's been hiding in these past few years is the off chance that it will bring more Ivana sightings (an additional downside, if that's even possible, is that it might mean the same in regard to the former Miss Marla Maples, whom I think of as a less charismatic late '80s incarnation of Pia Zadora).
And then Deborah Harry went and turned seventy, which frankly seems impossible and has made me more than a little broody. Miss de Havilland turning 99 simply means she's still with us and all's right with the world - but a septuagenarian Rockbird? That just seems wrong.
It's been something of a whirl chez nous as well. This week's big news is that, as of Tuesday, I am at least technically and in the most immediate sense no longer a patient. On Monday I went back to the scene of the crime, as it were, and submitted myself to the doctors at Highly Reputable Hospital for another, blessedly minor, procedure, and while it did bring back unpleasant memories, I suppose the sedative was kind of fun. With that out of the way, and if all (knock wood) is well, I won't be seeing another doc until after Labor Day.
In addition, I've successfully graduated from cardiac rehabilitation, and on top of that I have procured the services, believe it or not, of a personal trainer. For the foreseeable future, it seems, I'll be spending a cozy hour each weekend with a very well-set up young man called Kevin (an almost inevitable name for that kind of young man, no?) who will put me through a set of paces that I'll then repeat endlessly during the week. Exercise will never, I have to admit, be my favorite thing, but in tandem with the diet I've been assigned, it's doing the trick. Forgive if I brag ( a little more), but this morning at weigh-in I noted with more than a little satisfaction that I have now lost (are you sitting down?)... 50 pounds.
In my mind, I visualize a tidy row of ten plump chickens. Fifty pounds. I don't advise Googling to look for a visual metaphor, although I did lose a few minutes just now looking at sad/funny snaps of morbidly obese Dachsunds. In any case, while I will never be a willow, I'm afraid that while I still may refer to myself as a Stout Party (the mind loses weight a lot more slowly than the person, I'm learning), I soon won't be.
Remarkably (and stop me if I'm on the verge of turning into a diet bore), the change in eating isn't driving me crazy. The secret, the professionals assure me, is avoiding carbs (farewell, potatoes; arrivederci, pasta; sayonara, rice; auf Wiedersehen, beloved spaetzl!), minimizing sugar, and focusing on the seemingly not-paradoxical concept of "healthy fats" and lots of protein. The result is a festival of avocados and salmon, interspersed with yogurt and berries, but on the whole it's remarkably manageable and surprisingly palatable.
I have surprisingly few memories of July Fourth. As I child, I suppose we went to picnics and that sort of thing, but those were the common social currency of summer, and only vague thoughts of not much liking fireworks stand out. Grandmother Muscato did go in for patriotic summer jewelry, and somewhere tucked away I may have a flag brooch studded with dubious rubies, sapphires, and pearls. Perhaps I'll dig it out and startle Mr. Muscato. How about you - are you up to any particular mischief?
* Not to mention that of another, apparently ever smaller, swath that is going inexorably and all too publicly insane. That's quite amusing, too, although I wonder at what point it's going to turn (even more) toxic.